Sound sisters Seven-year-old Saegeas

Langford piano students come up big at provincial competition

Two sisters are among five young composers who won awards for compositions in the B.C. Registered Music Teachers Composing Competition.

Two sisters from Highlands are among five young composers, learning piano out of a Langford school, who have won awards for compositions in the B.C. Registered Music Teachers Composing Competition.

Satai,11, and Saegeas Miller, 8, are both aspiring young musicians who received recognition at the competition.

The sisters and three other students are trained by PJ Music Studios director Pamela Smirl. The competition is held every year for students of private music teachers.

Satai won first place in two categories. One was for her lyrical song “Have You Ever Dreamt of Heaven?” The other was for her instrumental “Video Game.”

She won a national award as a seven years old, for her piece “Bat Dance” and has been playing piano for about six years.

She is about to do her Grade six exam.

Younger sister Saegeas won at the novice level for her instrumental piece “Bumper Carz.” Saegeas also placed second nationally the year before for “That New Black Magic” and earned first-class honours with distinction on her grade three piano exam in June.

“Aren’t I lucky to have these guys?” Smirl said.

Other winners are Carmyn Slater, 12, from Sooke, who won first place in the intermediate category for her piece “Echoes from Montreal.”

Seven-year-old Danae Kong won first place in the novice vocal song category for “Rocking a Hummingbird to Sleep.”

Adult student Graham Roebuck won second place in the open category for his piece “Hildred’s Fixation.”

Composition is always an option but never mandatory for Smirl’s students.

“I try to encourage them to because creativity is huge and it’s a talent that you need in this world,” Smirl said.

Satai said jokingly that her favourite part of composing is the candy they get as rewards. She came up with “Have You Ever Dreamt of Heaven?” while riding her bike around her deck.

She said she was singing to herself when the tune just came to her.

“(I) kept on going with the tune and then I made up words for the song,” Satai said. “So you just start with an idea and build off that.”

Saegeas takes a somewhat different approach and prefers to play around at the piano with different notes and chords until something catches her ear. She then develops that, as she did with her piece “Bumper Carz,” until a song is borne.

Both budding musicians started taking early childhood music classes at the age of three.

The classes involve playing with drums and bells and having fun with the basics of music in a group setting.

The winning pieces have gone on to the national level of the competition, the results of which should be released some time next month.

In related news, eight-year-old Kevin Paulraj, a student of Smirl’s son Michael, is also being honoured for tying with Slater for best overall composition at the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival for his piece “The Carrom Board Master.”

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Gery Lemon adds woman’s perspective to View Royal council

New council-elect ready to work with incumbent councillors and mayor

Very Good Butchers to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria-based vegan company will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fog in Victoria affects at least four airlines

Oct. 23 is the fourth day in last week fog has cancelled flights

Video shows break-in at Saanich underground parking lot

Saanich Police are looking for two men caught on camera Monday night

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after concussion

Rookie is back practising after being sidelined by Florida defenceman Mike Matheson

UPDATED: 34 rescued off whale watching boat in Georgia Strait

Tour company says vessel experienced some kind of mechanical issue

Pipeline opponents blast Trans Mountain re-approval plan

Environmental advocates, First Nations leaders say NEB review has same flaws as it had before

Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy: report

Canada among healthiest wealthy countries, but 8,000 overdose deaths since 2016 are causing concern

Duncan mountaintop war monument “desecrated” by 4x4s

Senior dismayed to find off-road vehicles parked with tires on cairn

Delivery of cannabis could be impacted by postal strike

BC Liquor Distribution Branch look at alternative third-party delivery services

Local businesses that go above and beyond honoured at annual gala

Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island Torch Awards go Nov. 2 at the Union Club

Most Read